Drew Kennedy

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we meet Drew Kennedy, a second-year Apprentice at Bruntsfield Evangelical Church in Edinburgh.

Drew Kennedy

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I was studying full time at Edinburgh Theological Seminary.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
I am involved in a lot of kids and youth work. I help lead a Youth club for primary school kids, a Scripture Union group and our own Sunday youth ministry. When I’m not with the groups and young people I’m writing material and preparing. I also meet a couple of students and study with them on a one-to-one basis which I really enjoy.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
I’m learning a lot theologically and practically. I’m learning more about the theology and the practice of pastoral care, the different ministries I’m involved in and the life of a congregation week to week.

My highlights are seeing the guys I’m in one-to-one’s with grow in their love of the Lord Jesus, and be better equipped in their own Christian lives and better able to share the Gospel.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I have three official mentors! I meet one-to-one with Alistair Chalmers who is our line manager and main trainer. I have an internal mentor who is a member of our congregation and I have an external mentor, Christiaan Hofstra, the pastor of Bellevue Chapel, which lets me draw on three very different but all equally valuable streams of life and ministry experience.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I am currently looking at moving into a Youth Work role.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Drew, you can find all the information here.

Ally Macleod

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week Ally Macleod tells us about his experience as a first-year Apprentice at Chalmers Church Edinburgh.

Ally Macleod

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Last year I was a Relay worker with UCCF at Heriot-Watt university. I completed my probationer year as a physics teacher before that.

 

What are you learning at Cornhill?
There’s been so much that we’ve covered this term. The chance to prepare and give talks, Gobbets, etc. has shown me how much goes into sermons, etc. Going deeper into Exodus and the Bible as one coherent story with the themes therein has been really illuminating and strengthening for my certainty of the truth of the gospel. The biblical themes module we’ve started has been really enjoyable, especially the theme of creation/new creation and how it’s present throughout the Old and New Testaments.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
I’ve got a good variety of ages, stages and tasks day to day at Chalmers. 

  • I’m involved in our postgraduate and young workers small group network, where I do the admin work for it (weekly email and organisation of the weekend away) and help lead one of the groups itself when we meet to study the Bible together.
  • I coordinate the SU group at James Gillespie’s High School. We meet together and go through various parts of Scripture, this term going right through Mark.
  • On Sunday mornings, I’m part of our Sunday Club team, which caters for 5-11- year olds. The class I am with every week is made up of 9-11 year olds and taking them through Elijah and the Christmas story this term has been a challenge but a joy.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
How much I have to learn and how much we all need to rely on the Lord’s strength in ministry work of any type, full time or not.

The team ethos at Chalmers and the genuine sense of care for us and focus on our relationship with God.

Being given the chance to invest in people and reading the word with them.

Seeing school pupils at the SU group standing firm in their faith, asking and formulating their own answers for important questions.

Seeing God’s hand through all of the situations in which I’ve found myself.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?

Scott Hamilton (Minister in Training at Chalmers) is mentoring me this year. He’s been in my position before, and also mentored me last year when I worked with UCCF so he knows me well. This means mentoring has been really helpful and encouraging in terms of learning from Scott’s past experiences to learn what he feels I’m doing well and what I should be looking to improve. As with the rest of the programme, I’ve learned just how varied and difficult ministry and the day to day of it can be. 

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?

At the moment I am uncertain. I feel like I’ll be doing teaching of some kind, either back in schools while serving at a local church or in further ministry work.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Ally, you can find all the information here.

James Burnett

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we hear from James Burnett, a first-year apprentice at Christ Church Edinburgh in Craigentinny.

James BurnettWhat did you do before your apprenticeship?
I worked for a charity based in East Lothian called ELCAP where I supported a young adult with additional support needs towards independent living.

 

What are you learning at Cornhill?
At Cornhill I’m learning invaluable Bible handling skills. The main focus of our studies is to be able to understand the Bible as accurately as possible through working out what exactly the author’s purpose was in writing each passage. We are then trained in working out the most helpful and effective way to communicate the truths each passage contains while also appropriately applying those truths to our audience.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
Since starting at the beginning of September I’ve had the privilege of speaking at our lunch club which is a weekly outreach event. I’ve been able to lead our weekly prayer meeting twice and organised our church weekend away and led the programme. I’ve also led and preached at Sunday services.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
The most important thing I’m learning is how to preach God’s Word faithfully. It’s been a privilege and a highlight to be given opportunities to preach, and I’m grateful to the many people who offer me helpful feedback. I already feel that my preaching has improved greatly through the combination of Cornhill and honest feedback from those who care and want to see me grow.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
My minister, David Court, is currently on sabbatical so in the meantime Ali Sewell from Haddington Community Church is mentoring me. Ali has a real gift in preaching God’s Word and pastoring God’s people and it’s a real blessing to have the opportunity to be mentored by him. He did Cornhill a number of years ago so as well as being able to offer help and advice in regards to church-related things he can also do the same in regards to my time at Cornhill.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
After my apprenticeship I’m very open to whatever I feel God calls me to. At the moment I feel as though I will go to ETS to study Theology but if I feel God closes that door and opens a different one I’ll be happy to walk through it.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like James, you can find all the information here.

 

 

 

 

Robbie Laidlaw

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week Robbie Laidlaw shares his experience as a first-year Ministry Apprentice at St Silas Church, Glasgow.

Robbie Laidlaw

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I was a Relay Worker with UCCF, based a Glasgow University Christian Union, and before that I studied Computer Science at Aberdeen University. 

 

What are you learning at Cornhill?
It’s great to be able to learn from such experienced lecturers, learning how to teach the Bible effectively. A real highlight has been working through Exodus and seeing how the book works together and good ways to preach through it and learn from it ourselves.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
I work alongside the teenagers and the students; I spend my weeks preparing study material for the groups for teenagers. This term we have been looking at Exodus and Acts. I also get to spend time meeting up with students and discipling them through reading the Bible together.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
One of the biggest things I’ve learned is what church ministry looks like – from the team dynamic of the staff to the responsibilities that come with being in a position of leadership in some form.
A real highlight for me has been working through Exodus with one of my one-to-ones. Being able to read through that and learn together what it means for us practically today, and also seeing his eyes open to how God reveals himself in this book has been wonderful. 

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I meet with Martin, the rector, every two weeks to discuss workload and then to study Ephesians together. It’s a great chance to learn from him and his experiences here at St Silas. I’ve been learning what it looks like to develop and lead a Gospel-focused ministry. 

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I am unsure just now, but would like to explore further ministry opportunities, working with either students or teenagers. (or both!)

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Robbie, you can find all the information here.

Struan Yarney

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we meet Struan Yarney, a first-year ministry apprentice at Trinity Church Aberdeen.

 

Struan Yarney

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Before I started with Trinity, I worked with UCCF doing their mission and discipleship program called Relay at Robert Gordon University. Prior to my time with UCCF I studied history at the University of Aberdeen for four years.

 

What are you learning on your study programme?
I’ve been on the Cornhill course since September and am thoroughly enjoying my time there. It’s a real encouragement being in a class full of people who are there to submit to the authority of God’s word and are passionate about trying to teach and preach it faithfully across Scotland. Our classes are currently taking us through a Bible overview, a study of the book of Exodus, as well as instructions in preaching. The detailed study and unpacking of the book of Exodus has been a particular highlight so far.


What does ministry look like day to day?

As the cliché goes, no two weeks or even two days look the same in ministry with many varied tasks often popping up. However, the usual constants are helping lead student suppers (either doing a short talk or lead a bible study) and being part of staff meetings. Fortnightly, I meet with the minister and assistant minister for further study of something we’ve each read in the lead up to meeting. This has been a wonderful opportunity, not least to be able to pluck both of their brains about various ministry things! Other ministry opportunities include preaching, leading services, doing 1-to-1 Bible studies, and visiting older folks in the congregation.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
One of the things I’m learning is the importance of knowing people well in order to minister effectively to them. It seems like quite a simple thing, but more and more I’m learning how crucial it is if I’m going to serve my brothers and sisters well in encouraging them and when teaching them, whether that be in student suppers, 1-to-1’s or preaching. Particular highlights have been doing further theological studies with David (Minister) and Will (Assistant Minister) as well as continuing with student suppers and just seeing a growth in relationships and growth in love for God’s word together.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
David Gibson mentors me and I think he’s been key in helping me see the importance of knowing people well in order to minister to them. Alongside that we’ve spent some helpful time looking at Paul’s narrative of pastoral ministry and a book on ‘The Pastor as Minor Poet’ with Will.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I’m not 100% certain on what I’d like to do post these two years with Trinity. I’m currently torn between going back to work with UCCF as a Staff Worker or going into some form of secular work.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Struan, you can find all the information here.

 

 

Lucy Thompson

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we hear from Lucy Thompson, a second-year apprentice at Chalmers Church, Edinburgh.

Lucy ThompsonWhat did you do before your apprenticeship?
I did Relay with UCCF in Stirling, and prior to that studied Geography in Dundee University.

 

What are you learning on your study programme?
I am studying at Cornhill and absolutely loving it! Currently thinking about the ‘shape of pastoral ministry’; what is it biblically speaking, where are our natural strengths and weaknesses, how can we grow and encourage one another in this area, how do men and women differ, how to minister to different age groups, etc. It’s proved to be an encouraging and valuable module.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
A lot of the ministry I get to be involved in is with students. I co-lead a Bible study group of about 10 undergraduate girls. I meet up regularly with a couple of them to read the Bible 1-to-1, and check in semi-regularly with the others to see how they are doing in their walk with Jesus. I teach the 6 year olds weekly in the Sunday School, which has been a special joy to see their love for God grow, and how good they are at asking each other and me questions. I help out at Impact (youth club) every other week, my first time working with teenagers.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
I’m increasingly seeing how rich God’s word is! The cliché is true of the more you know, the more you realise how much you don’t know. This has been made especially clear through group apprentice training sessions I think. The sessions help spur me on in reading God’s word, reminding me of the riches it contains, giving me glimpses of how as a Christian I can be captivated by God’s word for however long I live and always keep seeing something new and amazing about who God is, being reminded of something I had forgotten or misplaced, something new about what he has done, what he is doing and what he will do. That might all sound a bit abstract but the implications aren’t. It makes me hopeful when I do my daily Bible reading that God is speaking to me, and there is something he is saying that I can cling to or meditate on throughout the day. In turn it means I know how rich God’s word is to feed the people in Chalmers I minister to, allowing me to point them more clearly to Jesus. The sessions also help remind me of the crucial connection between learning about God and turning that into praise and worship and thankfulness.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
Roger and Jessi Day mentor me (Assistant Minister at Chalmers and his wife). I’m learning so much from time with them, but what has struck me particularly over the past few months is how they have consistently not just tried to help me practically, but they’ve always pointed me to back to Christ and his love and sufficiency for me. By receiving that myself I hope I am learning how to do the same for others.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I’m still trying to figure this out, but longer term I would love to be and have been encouraged to be involved in ministry in a full time capacity, perhaps as a women’s worker in a local church.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Lucy, you can find all the information here.

Caelan Barnes

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we hear from Caelan Barnes, a second-year ministry apprentice at St Andrews Free Church in St Andrews, Fife.

 

Caelan BarnesWhat did you do before your apprenticeship?
I studied Pure Mathematics at the University of St Andrews.

 

What are you learning at Cornhill?
In general we’re learning how to handle scripture that we might effectively teach it to other people. Recently we’ve been looking at Old Testament narratives, Revelation, and John’s Gospel, as well as the more systematic topics of union with Christ and aspects of pastoral ministry.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
Most of my work revolves around three things: administrative tasks, preparatory work for teaching engagements, and then enacting that work in the teaching of scripture to others. On the administrative front I organise our monthly student lunches as well as maintain the church’s website, make service sheets, and any other tasks that the top brass assign me. As for the teaching situations that I’m preparing for, they include preaching, Sunday school, student Bible studies, and 1-to-1 discipleship. All in all it’s a rather mixed bag! 

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
It’s difficult to isolate one thing because as I’ve learned: ministry is rather varied. I think the biggest thing I’ve grown in though is my ability to teach biblical truths in various contexts. Be it in the pulpit, Sunday school, student Bible studies or 1-to-1 discipleship situations I have grown much in my ability to helpfully and clearly guide others to the truth.

There’s two things I enjoy particularly though. First, studying God’s word, particularly the initial stages of understanding the passage and then nuancing and sharpening my application later on in the preparation process. Second, helping others to see for themselves how the Bible shapes their lives. Often individuals can be struggling with a certain issue that’s only symptomatic of something deeper that they don’t realise. Helping them to see this for themselves by asking good questions and then guiding them to the application of scripture to that situation is very rewarding. It also helps me grow in my godliness as I frequently unearth subterranean issues in myself while I’m helping people unearth theirs!

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I am mentored by Hamish Sneddon. As he’s mentored me I’ve been learning perseverance in the strength that Christ gives us as we carry out the work of his gospel. I’ve found my time as a ministry trainee difficult and constantly returning to why we do it and who’s power we do it in has been a recurring theme in our supervision meetings.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
At this juncture in my life I don’t think further formal ministry is the immediate next step. That’s not to say I’ll never do it, I just don’t think now is the right time. Instead my current plan is to return to studying in St Andrews, transitioning into philosophy, whilst continuing to serve in as large a capacity as they’ll allow me at St Andrews Free Church.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Caelan, you can find all the information here.

Kirsty Scott

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. This week we hear from Kirsty Scott, a first-year ministry apprentice at Hawick Baptist Church in the Scottish Borders.

Kirsty ScottWhat did you do before your apprenticeship?
For the past 4 years I have been working as a primary school teacher in the Scottish Borders.

 

What are you learning at Cornhill?
So far we have been working through a series of Bible Overview lectures tracking God’s incredible salvation plan. Within our smaller teaching groups I have had the opportunity to prepare and deliver some talks expounding Bible passages. My favourite part so far has been an in-depth study of the book of Exodus.

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
This term my day-to-day ministry opportunities are wrapped up in learning, planning, and preparations. My current priority is that I will be able to build relationships with a new core of young people in Hawick. I have also scheduled in meetings over the next few weeks to build relationships with gospel-minded Christians in the town who are already working in schools to see how I can support this work. I organised events in the lead up to Christmas, for example, a Christmas Craft Afternoon in order to invite people of all ages to our Christmas services and a Christmas Party for young people as a promo for what will be happening in Youth Group in 2020. I am  developing a teaching plan for children and youth that we can run with in 2020 and part of this preparation involves delivering some training for our Sunday school leaders.

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
Making myself available for gospel opportunities! I have been praying for opportunities to meet young people. I was recently at a Christians in Sport training and equipping night and as a result I met a lady who is involved with a junior running club and so hopefully I will be able to have an opportunity there to use my love of running to go and help with this running club and meet young people in the town.

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
Martin Smith (Lead Pastor, Hawick Baptist Church) and Agnes Brough (Cornhill Scotland) mentor me. We have a focus on three big principles: character, competence and convictions. The apprenticeship is an opportunity for me to grow in all three areas and to help me on my way we have identified some helpful reading material for me to work through and provide feedback on during my supervisions. This term I am reading a book called Christian Youth Work by Mark Ashton and Phil Moon to help me as I seek to develop a gospel centred foundation for our youth ministry.

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I hope that there will be an opportunity for me to continue to work for or at least continue to serve the local church in whatever capacity is needed.

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Kirsty, you can find all the information here.

 

 

 

James Amour

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. Today’s post introduces James Amour, who is a first-year ministry apprentice at Charlotte Baptist Chapel in Edinburgh.

 

James Amour

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
I worked in a marketing agency as a digital designer. 

 

What are you learning on your study programme at Cornhill?
I’m learning that my body doesn’t like early starts as well as how to study the Bible, how to interpret passages truthfully, and how to faithfully and effectively convey these truths to others. 

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
My days are very varied but an average day would consist of some reading and studying in the morning. Then, in the afternoon I might have a meeting or study with someone. In the evening I might have a ministry to attend such as the student ministry or home group study. 

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
The most important thing I’m learning is what goes on in a church behind the scenes. It’s quite humbling to see the paid staff as well as church members so committed to their roles and tasks. Everyone is working hard and diligently to see the people of Edinburgh come to Christ. It’s inspired me to be a red-hot church member wherever I end up in the future. 

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
My mentor is Liam Garvie. Meeting with Liam on a weekly basis is undoubtedly the highlight of the week. He teaches us how to read and study the Bible for ourselves, we review and discuss books, and ask him questions about ministry that might be on our minds. 

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I’m not yet sure if I would like to return to secular work or be involved in paid-ministry. 

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like James, you can find all the information here.

Rowan Corrigan

Each week we’re introducing you to different people supported by the Bonar Trust. In this week’s post Rowan Corrigan, a first-year ministry apprentice at St Columba’s Free Church in Edinburgh, tells us about her experience as an apprentice so far.

 

Rowan Corrigan

What did you do before your apprenticeship?
Before my apprenticeship, I studied Physics for 4 years at Heriot Watt before spending a year on the Relay programme with UCCF based at Napier University. 

 

What are you learning at Cornhill?
Cornhill is really helping me to be able to listen to God’s voice. I’m really enjoying digging so deeply into the Bible and unpacking its riches. Every week, I feel as though I am blown away by Jesus and His fulfilment of the Old Testament. It’s helping me to love Jesus more. 

 

What does ministry look like day to day?
The highlight of my week is always the teenager groups. It is such a joy to see so many young people excited and being built up to speak and live for Jesus throughout their years at high school. I spend a lot of time during the week meeting with a variety of women from around the congregation and am enjoying continuing to meet with students. 

 

What’s the most important thing you are learning from the apprenticeship? What have been your highlights?
A massive thing that I am learning right now is seeing how much of working in a church is learning to listen to God and to watch Him at work within the congregation. It’s an encouragement to see that all of the work is led by God and not by man. It is such an encouragement to watch the Spirit doing amazing things around the church daily.  

 

What are you learning through mentoring?
I am mentored by a woman at my church who I have been meeting with for the last 4 years. By openly talking about my struggles, I am often reminded and encouraged that we do not face the Christian life alone, and that we all walk together to bring us closer to Jesus. 

 

What would you like to do after your apprenticeship?
I’m not really sure what my plans will be post-apprenticeship. I’d love to stay in ministry, potentially as a women’s worker for a church.

 

 

If you would like to give to the work for the Bonar Trust and support more individuals like Rowan, you can find all the information here.